Whitney French Releases Her Debut Collection “Three Cities”

Rootz Kizzy featured in Our Hope for Children @ 2011 Nuit Blanche

Our Hope for Children art installation by the OACAS was featured at this year’s Nuit Blanche in Toronto. The streets were packed to from dusk to the break-a-dawn as T.dot stayed awake all nite long, finding art in the most usual and unusual places. Shining in Yonge Street’s Additionelle store windows, 45 portraits represented the faces and voices of the city, blending words and images into “Poetik Portraits.”

The exhibit was a collabo featuring the up close and personal imagery of photographer John Beebe and poetiks of Womenz Wordz own Motion. The exhibit featured the faces and words of artists, youth workers, community builders and peoples from around the way who stopped by to share their thoughts on the theme of Hope for the younger generation. Spoken word poet Rootz Kizzy was larger-than-life, joining the likes of Tdot notables, J-WyzeMark StrongDJ L’oqenz,Tamara ShellyBrandon HayeQuentin VercettyLa BombaKoncept KingTamara DawittTheo 3,  Jo AltilliaLove Jones Sundays. Rootz Kizzy’s quote, “A Legacy,” reflects her own poetic motivation to empower and enlighten with each word she speaks.


by Shanae Smith

Born with fair skin

full lips

Beautiful brown eyes

Looking right towards the sky

Five hours and 20 min.

she’s all mine

my arms cradled her

while my hands held her tight

for this night was the best night of my life.

Morning has come

already my worry has begun

to me she was perfection

deserved all of my love and affection

life had a whole nother lesson for her

society’s definition of beautiful stood at the extent of her long curly hair

how would i tell her

should i start by saying

there is no such thing as black and white

just a world full of people

filled with insecurities they feel they must hide

divided by pride and a bunch of hatred inside

tricked by the illusion of colour

i would have to explain to her why a white man is pink and a black man is really brown

one day i will tell her that the world is cold but

no matter what you stay bold

hold your  ground and never frown

don’t let anything they throw at you get you down

image is just an excuse they use to amuse

refuse to take form to an inevitable norm

remember where you came from

always know where you’re going

steer clear of confusion

even if the rain is pouring

cause precision is the way to growth.

after all this my dear,

Mommy just wants you to know that

” I love you”

and soon you will know that all i have said

is true and to just “Be you.”

(from HOLLA!)


by Shanae 

Sweaty palms of my own demise

cover my face to block the sunrise

i should’ve



but i didn’t

now here i am still sittin

waiting for time fly by

looking for another reason why

i should have

could have

would have

but i didn’t

get out of bed or is it all just in my head

somehow my thoughts are being mislead

could it be my brain just needs to be fed

i wanna run free but

something is keeping me.

by Shanae

GRAF by Motion directed by Eklipz feat Zion

… in reMemory of the legendary graf artist Kase2 & all the midnite writers.

You can’t catch it

just snatches in frames that

fly past windows

inscripted in insidious

crevices and corners

scrawled on concrete slabs

of underpass


eyes peeled to feel the pressure

of fingers pressed on spray can tips

aerated shades

grow bold in phases

stage impromptu shows at the

sides of the road

It Burns

layin on lost walls

for the next eyes

they too will wonder why

these spaces found favour in the

eyes of midnite writers

scribes who

spray legacies of heiro’s

on the edge of city scapes

they’ll outlast our past

even when our last breath escapes

these dwellers create

carved calligraphies

script on brick

tattooed tags stain train skin

impromptu  impression

impressin dimension

destination,  eternal

so lost walls become


“Dancing to a White Boy Song” Hits the Stage @ Summerworks Festival!

By Tendisai Cromwell for SWAY Magazine Online

As part of this year’s Summerworks Theatre Festival, Dancing to a White Boy Song is promising to be a unique theatrical experience.

Exploring the personal stories of three African immigrants, the title is a metaphor for an immigrant living in a Western culture. The narratives will unfold in a multidisciplinary fashion employing poetry, dance, and visual imagery.

In examining the overarching theme of ‘otherness’, the play will also explore family dynamics, intergenerational tensions, work, race, and address the notion of home.

The inspiration for the play lies in the immigrant experiences of Kenyan-born Director and Co-Creator Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu.

“It came from a very personal place, ”Otu revealed. “I immigrated here as a teenager with my family and I had a very rough transition.”

To actualize her aspirations, Otu collaborated with playwright,  poet [& Womenz Wordz facilitator] MOTION and choreographer, Meryem Alaoui.

“She hears poetry as the voices of the characters,” Motion said of Otu’s vision. “It’s a play that brings out different voices, rhythms, cadences, stories.”

The trio has been working since this past May to reflect the complexities of human expression in the play.

“It’s an exploration of how we express ourselves as human beings. We express ourselves through movement, through sound, sometimes through visual imagery, ”Otu said.

The final production will be inclusive of many aspects of various immigrant narratives and though the play explores African immigration, it also deals with many universal sub-themes and a wide range of shared human emotions.

“When we become personal, we can see how universal our experiences can be,” Motion said. “Every single one of us has had moments of insecurity. All of us have had those generational gaps that take place within families, within communities.”

“It’s up to each person to, I hope, feel somehow connected or find something that is relevant to their life, ”Alaoui expressed.

They encourage everyone to watch the play and leave hopefully with a greater understanding of issues surrounding the immigrant identity.

For showtimes and to purchase tickets visit: www.dancingtoawhiteboysong.com


Holla!: The Book Launch

Womenz Wordz First Anthology: Hollah!

Start the Long Weekend off Right!

Womenz Wordz, a Literature for Life project presents the launch of their debut anthology, “HOLLA!”, a powerful collection of wordz from fresh new voices blowing up Toronto’s poetix scene.

Young women, hailing from 1900 Sheppard and Women Moving Forward, come together to drop their wordz on the mic for one night only!

Hosted by Motion

Featuring performances by:

Amber King
Roots Kizzy
Whitney French
Miss Cola
Shanae Smith
Rochelle David
Niki Roberge
Makida Jones
and more!

Doors open at 6:00pm
Showtime 7:00pm SHARP!

Join us for book signing, light refreshments, mix-music-and-mingle and of course LIVE poetry. Children more than welcome.

A night of WORDZ and SOUNDZ at Toronto’s legendary bookstore, A Different Booklist. Don’t miss it!


RSVP on Facebook: HERE



Check out pieces from the anthology here:

Ode to Clyde
Empty Fills
Dub Insomnia
I Am Everything

and more!

Subway Love

by Nicola

On the subway subway subway
One day
I was on the subway
I was on the subway
Comin from church
Got lost on the subway
But found yur love
On that same subway
The sheppard way
My final stop
1 bus
To my destination
1 must wonder how it came to be
Yu an me
Beautiful sight to see
My insecurites an my past have hauted me until yu came n set me free
Showed me a love that I never thought egxised
Told me to love myself and be me
And thats real
In that moment as I stepped off the train
I looked up yu looked at me
an for a spit second life and time jus paused
Doo doo doo
Doors be closin
I be walkin
Felt a hand
Take me hand an lead me away
Lol wth
I got lost in his brown eyes
Hmmm his brown eyes
Wasn’t tellin no lies
Said he loved my thighs
He smile I smile
What’s ya name
Cola yurs
Cute so wassup
Nun yu
Oh boo I had to holla at yu
Cause yu be mighty fine in that tight ass skirt
Ass so big an poppin
Almost lost my shirt
I chuckle a bit n my bat my eyes
Pinch me I’m in a dream
This mans way to fly
Down to business
How much kids yu got
3 yu
we walking an talkin tryna fine my bus
Saw the sunlight shine bright and glisten off his beautiful face
6’3 to 5’3
Tall to short
Light skin wit braids
Made me weak in the knees
Please lord please
Don’t let this man tease me
He leans close
I can feel his sweet warm breath on my neck
As I hold my face away
He leans closer to my ear an all I hear him say
Is yur so beautiful damn
Gimme ya numba girl please
I wanna chance to make yu smile
N imma do it with ease
My bus is here
I gotta go
I give him my numba an walk away
Ooo damn damn damn
Is what I hear him say
Sittin on the bus
Ring ring
All I wanted to do was hear yur voice one more time
Maybe we’ll meet up soon
But for now its js goodbye

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